Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whanganui National Art Award Win to Christine Haber

Whanganui National Art Award Win to Christine Haber

Christine Haber, Whanganui, Tread Lightly on the Foreshore, photograph
2010 Whanganui National Art Award Best in Show Winner

Desiree Oosthuysen, Auckland, Tui in Kowhai Tree, mixed media
2010 Whanganui National Art Award Certificate of Merit

Leonie Sharp, Whanganui, Scoari, fabric, feathers, fibre
2010 Whanganui National Art Award Certificate of Merit

The 2010 Whanganui National Art Award was won by Whanganui photographer Christine Haber, the second year in a row a Whanganui artist has taken Best in Show. In this year’s exhibition, 20 artworks were submitted by artists from Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Whanganui, Wellington and Otago.

Ms Haber was ectastic with her win. “To be selected the 2010 Whanganui National Art Award Winner from amongst all these other artists who entered from around New Zealand gives me such pride. These works here are all capable of winning”, she said.

Judges Marty Vreede, printmaker and printmaking lecturer at Whanganui UCOL, and Richard Aslett, award winning painter and graphic artist were impressed with the quality of light and dynamic of Ms Haber’s winning entry titled Tread Lightly on the Foreshore. The photograph of a bronze statue’s foot on a sandstone rock had a tension that is a core principle of art. Mr Vreede says, “The delicate exposure and composition were appealing to us. It’s softness of tones and lines give fluidity to a static object.”

Certificate of Merits were given to Tui in Kowhai Tree by Desiree Oosthuysen from Auckland and Scaori by Leonie Sharp from Whanganui. Mr Aslett said that Tui in Kowhai Tree blazed with blue of the sky, and the layering of paint to create the dazzle of tui plumage. “For Scaori we enjoyed the way Ms Sharp incorporated Maori and Scottish cultures of whakapapa and New Zealand history by Korowai and Tartan, pheasant feathers and flax”, he said.

The exhibition runs till October 6 at the Wanganui Community Arts Centre, 19 Taupo Quay, Wanganui. The convener of the exhibition and presenter of the award is the Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Award Trust. The award competition and prize money are designed to create a national platform for visual artists in the Whanganui region, and to develop dialogue and relationships between the national arts sector and the Whanganui arts community.

Trust Secretary and spokeswoman Esther Topfer said that a national exhibition is important exposure for artists. She says “The Whanganui National Art Award is top of the line. The competition is huge and the judging is very critical. It’s taking your work to a wider audience and the artists have the chance of winning an award that will play a big part in driving forward their careers.” Ms Topfer said that the introduction of the Certificate of Merits was in response to the strengths of the exhibition as a whole and those merited works in particular.

She said that the trust is grateful for the sponsorships from the Wanganui District Creative Communities NZ, Optiv101 Fine Arts and Multimedia Studios, Powerco Wanganui Trust, Whanganui Community Foundation, and Mickey’s, in presenting the 2010 Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Award.